Panel approves general as Joint Chiefs of Staff head

The Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday approved the nomination of Army Gen. John Vessey Jr. to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. If confirmed by the full Senate as expected, General Vessey will succeed Air Force Gen. David Jones, who retires July 1.

The nomination was enthusiastically endorsed by members of the armed services panel during his confirmation hearing. The chairmanship is a two-year term that can be renewed by the President. General Vessey's current Army assignment is vice-chief of staff.

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